Thursday, March 26, 2009

Employment Limbo

Just like many other people in our alledgedly disintegrating economy, we have been enduring layoffs in the City of Inver Grove Heights. At the community center, I technically go by the title Guest Service Specialist. My direct supervisor, who worked very hard for our members and her employees, was laid off last week along with another woman who carries the same title as myself. Since I have been here for only six months and we are part of a union she has the opportunity to take my position and bump me out because she has seniority over me.

In the end she chose not to take my position, therefore, I am officially still employed...

Until the layoffs were not approved by the city council after the fact.

Apparently someone jumped the gun and escorted these women out of the building before the actual layoffs were approved. These women are sitting at home on paid administrative leave and my job is up in the air again for another two weeks. It kind of sounds like I am upset but I'm not. To be honest, I don't really understand what is happening. I have never been in a union and I have never been through the layoff process so I am not sure what the proper procedure is and if it's the same across the board regarding union and non-union companies.

I have been assured by a few fellow employees that this woman will not take my position because she doesn't want to work these particular hours (4:45am until 8:45am). I do not feel anxious that I potentially may be unemployed soon because I know that my family could survive on Chris's salary alone, albeit rather frugally, and that the whole situation is all in God's hands. He knows our needs and desires before we do. He carries us and sustains us.

So here I am in what I call "employment limbo" and very grateful to have a job, however long it lasts.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
Ecclesiastes 9:10a

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Real Love

There are times when I am critical of my husband. There, I said it. Just call me Missrude. Unfortunately I am not critical in a nice, loving, constructive way, but in a way that offends and discourages him. And if I am honest with myself, I probably do it way more often than I realize because, sadly, I don't even recognize my critical attitude most of the time. It just shows up, ugly, mean, and downright vicious sometimes.

Just a couple of days ago Missrude showed up yet again when my husband was putting his shoes on and was getting dirt on our hardwood front room floor. Of course, I made a comment that sounded something like "Nice" and immediately felt bad when I noticed that it offended him. It should be noted that one of the reasons he was putting on his shoes was to go to the store to pick up some cereal that I asked him to get for Andy. It turns out Andy loves the new Jumbo Rice Krispies. It's a great finger-food snack for little ones.

Anyway, I digress.

In my defense, I was partially kidding but I did want to bring the dirt to his attention. I was
annoyed because I knew that I would be cleaning it up if I didn't say anything. I know he didn't do it on purpose but I'm not sure that he realized what he was doing. It really isn't a big deal but I tend to get critical when someone does something different than I would. Apparently, I have the most common sense so everyone should just do things my way.

Well, we exchanged words and one of us could have said something along the lines of "I don't know how I am going to survive the next fifty years of this marriage." Of course we will survive however long God gives us with each other because we made a commitment to God and to each other to not only survive but thrive in our marriage.

When Chris came home from the gym and the store with a bag full of stuff, I asked him what he got. He calmly announced that he bought some flowers. Knowing that he was upset with me when he left, I asked him why he got flowers. If I remember right, he said he got them because he was mad at me but he loves me still. I need to mention that these flowers are my most favorite flower and he picked a shade close to one of my favorite colors.

Chris demonstrated what real love is all about: Choosing to love and showing that love even when we may feel like harboring a grudge instead.

Thank you, Chris, for choosing to love me even when I am unlovable. Thank you for showing what it means to love. Those precious boys have an important example of a husband who chooses to love his wife.

And hopefully Missrude will take a long walk off a short pier. Gosh, I don't think anyone says that anymore but it was very popular when I was a teenager. Ugh, I'm dating myself so I think I'll stop now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Verse 6

It's time to add another verse to the year-long scripture memorization.

Psalm 139 (NIV)

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me

2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Beth Moore, the one who came up with this challenge, has arranged a get-together at her home church in Texas next January for those of us who can complete this challenge.

Can I just say, I am going to Texas next January! I told Chris about it and now I just have to save up my money. And maybe find someone to travel with to share a hotel room and car.

OK, it's time to wake up from this little dream. I want to go but I'm not sure that it will be possible. For now I will keep memorizing and bathing my brain in God's Word.

(And keeping the dream alive!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eighth Anniversary

Why haven't I put up a post lately?

Could it be that I am really boring with nothing exciting going on in my life?

Or maybe there has been what seems like never-ending sickness invading my home and I just don't have the energy to blog.

Perhaps I have so many deep and disjointed issues floating around in my head.

Actually, all of the above.

When I began this blog about four months ago, the purpose was to simply document the days and happenings of my family; a kind of journal/scrapbook of sorts. At this point I have one official follower and I know of one other reader(my husband). And although I am very close with the rest of my family, I haven't thrown out my blog address for all to read. I don't have the intention to be a popular blog read by thousands. Would that be cool? Yes, in a way. But that is not my goal. I am not super smart nor do I have amazing insight, but even if I did, I just don't have a witty and clever way with words.

I originally thought that I would publish this blog in book form periodically for my children to read and look at someday. So, should I write about my deepest issues that may or may not directly affect my children? I don't want to hide who I am and what I've been through from them but is it an unnecessary burden to allow them to view the deepest part of my soul even when those circumstances are long over? Or would it help them to someday understand my actions and reactions to the different events in our lives? I think that this is the place I can go for a sense of therapy to unload my burdens and pain.

My prayer is that God will use me and my blog for His purpose despite my agenda as I relate my life to anyone who cares to read about it.

This month marks the eighth anniversary of the miscarriage of my second baby. This year I find myself deeply saddened when in years past it has seemed like a distant memory of another life. I was married to Josh's dad, D, and Josh had just turned one year old when we decided to try for another baby. I became pregnant right away but my body was not ready to carry a baby. The baby had stopped growing at around six to eight weeks and I was fourteen weeks along when I miscarried. I never found out the gender of the baby but I am almost certain that it was a girl. Call it mother's intuition. I had even already picked out an adorable pink romper to bring her home from the hospital in. She was due to be born September 2, 2001 and I was really excited for her arrival. I know that God knew what I was about to face in the coming months and years with her father and knew the best thing for me was to call her to Him.

I am not sure that I ever really grieved the loss of my baby since the circumstances surrounding the miscarriage carry such tremendous physical and emotional pain that have seemed to overshadow the actual event of losing a baby.

It was late on a Thursday evening when I began hemorrhaging. I called the hospital numerous times to speak with the doctor on call and was told to keep waiting. D was there through it all and to his credit, was very supportive and helpful. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom covered in blood when we finally decided to ignore the doctor's orders and head to the hospital. As I was getting out of the tub, with D's help, I fainted. D could not wake me so he called an ambulance which then transported me to the hospital. I underwent an emergency D&C without much pain management. Usually a general anesthetic is used but the emergency doctor was afraid I would go into a coma so she opted to use a cervical pain block.

I was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation and to keep fluids pumping through two IVs in my arms since I lost so much blood. I did not sleep at all but cried all night long. I had many vitals checks and a cuff taking my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. I was visited by a grief counselor early in the morning and was finally seen by a doctor so that I could be released.

I called D to come and get me since he had to be at our home with Josh. As I was waiting for him to get there, my roommate asked me if she could play her music. Of course I agreed and she instantly began to play some praise music. I wish I could remember the song but it has escaped my memory. It turns out that she had breast cancer and was recovering from surgery. Her sweet, calming voice dried my tears.

I went home and promptly fell asleep on the couch. D made me some lunch and I slept some more. I was extremely weak, very sore, and physically drained. Josh came home from his grandma's and D took off with his friends to, admittedly, do drugs and sleep it off on some body's couch. I was completely unable to care for Josh so my sister-in-law, Angela, came to my house with her two girls to take care of us both. She fed and bathed Josh and put him to bed. I am sure she asked how I was feeling emotionally about the miscarriage, but to be honest, I was more hurt by D's desertion. I was not fully aware at that time of his behavior but I was certain that he was completely selfish and uncaring. He did not come home that night or for the entire next day and his mom had to come take care of Josh.

Five days later, when I was still very ill, he told me that he wanted a divorce and that he wanted me moved out by the end of the month. He retracted the request later that day but it fermented in the recesses of my mind for the rest of our marriage and maybe for the rest of my life. I do believe that he felt trapped and that he was finally able to end our miserable marriage when we were no longer expecting our baby. Truthfully, our marriage and relationship were in trouble since the day it started and perhaps I will blog about that someday.

For now, I am thankful that D had the guts to tell me he was miserable, albeit in a none-too-gentle way. It changed the course of my life. I am thankful for Angela who helped me emotionally and physically through one of the toughest challenges I have faced so far. But mostly, as a daughter of divorced parents, I am thankful that God called that baby Home and that she didn't have to survive the divorce of her parents. I grieve the fact that I never got to know her and that she wasn't able to be a part of all the fun things that Josh and I have done together and now as a part of a new family. But she is waiting for me in the presence of Jesus and I know that I will meet her someday. Meanwhile, she and my grandma are singing the Lord's praises together and for that I am glad.

Monday, March 2, 2009


It's time to add a verse to the memorization project. Since I am doing the entire passage from Psalm 139, I will add verse 5:

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.


So much has happened this last week or so...

We've canceled our membership to the community center. We got a Wii and a Wii Fit about a month ago so I plan on doing my workouts from Yoga to Aerobics with it. It was getting really hard to get back to the community center to workout when I was there working in the morning so it will be easier to play on the Wii at home. Chris plans on joining a local fitness center which is a bit cheaper and much closer. We will also visit sometimes to play in the pool but just pay the day rate.

We've also canceled our telephone service since we don't use it very often. In fact, we go for days without a call. We are now using our iPhones exclusively but we were almost doing that already. The iPhone has been so nice to have. I have been able to look up directions and phone numbers to various places when I am lost or need some extra information. I have access to recipes on the go and I can even make my grocery list on it according to how the aisles in my grocery store are set up. Amazing time-saving stuff! Umm...I guess now I have to actually figure out how to set that up.

One more thing we canceled was our cable. We still have the basic cable so that we can get reception and, from what I understand, we need it for the new digital streaming. Oh, now I'm pretending to be technical? I really have absolutely no idea about any of it! Anyway, Josh was spending so much time in front of the TV and I know I am responsible for turning it off and asking him to find something else to do but, honestly, I don't have the energy to fight that battle. We now can order shows and movies online so I can better control what he is watching and how much. In fact, he watched a mom-approved movie on my laptop yesterday instead of watching a gazillion hours of Sponge Bob which is questionable at best and downright obnoxious at worst.

So since we have cancelled all of these we are saving over $130 a month and plan to put that in savings and pay off some debt.

(insert screeching halt noise)

On Wednesday, with our best laid plans to save money and pay some bills, my car broke down on my way to work. At 4:30 in the morning. It turns out that the motor needs to be taken apart and the lifter replaced and some threads re-threaded and some strong chemicals poured in or over something but all I could manage to understand of car-speak is that it is going to cost around $750. Yikes! And that is with the HOPE that it will work. HOPE people! Well, I am hoping and praying!

But that is nothing. Only material and trivial.

On Monday of last week my grandfather was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was having trouble eating and went to the doctor to have his esophagus expanded. The doctor inserted the tool down his throat and ran into a mass. It was unexpected but it seems as though it was caught early and can be removed with surgery and radiation if they can't get it all out. It has been scary and sad. I am not sure how to explain it, but if his time on earth were through and God was to call him Home, I would be excited for him. The love of his life has gone before him and he would be able to meet Jesus face to face. I have no doubt God would gaze upon him and proclaim "Well done, My good and faithful servant!" But right now the outcome looks good.
Gramps turned 78 on the day of his diagnosis but has always seemed much younger. He works as an usher for the Chicago Cubs (his all-time favorite team since he was a whipper-snapper), runs a contracting business with my uncle, and loves to work on projects around our homes. He personally built our deck, laid our kitchen and bathroom floors, installed our kitchen cupboards and appliances, and is currently drawing up plans to finish and remodel our basement, all within the last three years. And that is only my home! I dearly love the man and hope that he has at least 20 more healthy years with us here, but it really is in God's hands and He has the ultimate best-laid plans for Gramps, and the rest of us for that matter.

This is Gramps holding Andy in the hospital. Handsome fellas!

Speaking of Andy, he's had a nasty cold and cough for a couple of weeks now so I decided to take him in today to see if there was something more to it and, sure enough, he has developed a double ear infection. Poor little guy! So hopefully he will start to feel better once we get some antibiotics in his system. He did manage to charm all the ladies in the office, though, despite feeling miserable. Lord, please help us all!